Study: Slow progress in race, gender hires in college sports

A diversity report released Wednesday on college sports showed slow, uneven progress in improving racial and gender hiring practices.

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics and Sport, or TIDES, at Central Florida gave college sports a C-plus grade of 77.3 for its overall racial and gender hiring, up from 76.7 one year ago. Richard Lapchick, the institute's director and lead report author, said in the executive summary that college sports continues to struggle at increasing opportunities for women and minorities.

"The biggest takeaway—and unfortunately has been for a number of years—is that white men are overwhelmingly in the key positions of college sport at the university and college level," Lapchick said.

Among the study's positives: The NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis received high marks for its hiring practices, including a B-plus for race in senior leadership and professional positions, and an A-plus for gender in both areas.

"If the NCAA uses its example of how well they've done at their headquarters and uses that as a model for colleges and really pushes the issues harder, it would be a big step forward," Lapchick said.

Lapchick says he's long advocated for the NCAA to adopt regulations similar to the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for coaching and football operations positions.

"We've seen debates on the Rooney Rule and its effectiveness, but there's no question that from the time it was implemented … there were marked increases in head coaches who were coaches of color as well as general managers," Lapchick said.

The study gave college sports a B-minus grade of 79.6 for its racial hiring, up from 78.3 one year ago. Gender hiring received a C-plus grade of 75.1, unchanged from last year.

The report covers a wide range of positions at colleges, including head coaches, assistant coaches, athletic directors and other administrative posts.

Lapchick said there are some positives from the report but noted several areas of concern:

— The number of minority coaches fell in both Division I football and men's basketball. Minorities make up 10.4 percent of head football coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision, down from 12.1 percent one year ago. Minorities make up 24.8 percent of men's basketball coaches, down from 25 percent last year.

— African-Americans represent 22.4 percent of Division I men's basketball coaches, down from an all-time high of 25.2 percent in the 2005-06 season. African-Americans make up 53.6 percent of Division I basketball players.

— Nearly 60 percent of all women's college teams are coached by men and 51 percent of assistant coaches on women's teams are also men.

— In all sports, whites make up 86.2 percent of men's coaches in the Division I level, 87.4 percent in Division II and 91.4 percent in Division III. For coaches of women's sports, whites make up 85 percent in Division I, 85.6 percent in Division II and 90.9 percent in Division III.

— Whites represent 84.3 percent of Division I athletic directors, and only 10.5 percent are women, down from 11.2 percent last year.

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